Each Fall day as we dump the boat in the water, just before first light, a day of promise, opportunity and surprise awaits us. Armed with light fly rods for sea-run cutthroat, six and seven weight rods for coho and steelhead and big sticks for the mighty king salmon we set off to see what the day may bring. Each fishing day brings with it a unique fishing experience that varies greatly from day to day, even in the same section of river. The diversity of the Oregon Coastal fishery is what makes it so fun, challenging and rewarding at the same time.
So far the Coast has had two significant periods of rain, one in September and one in mid-October, each of which has been followed by long periods of high pressure and sunny skies. The first rain in September flushed a lot of the sea-run trout from tidewater into the river while the second rain brought with it an excellent push of salmon into the lower and middle reaches of most systems. As we write this post we’re staring at enormous weather system that looks like it will dump rain for the next few days and push the rivers to their highest points to date this Fall. We expect that this rain will essentially end the lower tidewater fishery and push most anglers into the main rivers for the balance of the season.
Fishing has been generally good. We’ve had a couple slow days, lots of decent days and a few exceptional days. Highlights include a day of upriver sea-run cutthroat fishing where it seemed every fish in the river wanted to eat our dries flies. Giddy anglers landed scores and scores of beautiful trout. Overall sea-run cutthroat numbers have been good, but we haven’t seen as many really large fish as last year. Perhaps they are still to come, but with just over a week left in the season, we’re running out of time.
The coho salmon run is good this year, but appears to be a fraction of the epic returns we had last year. There are still plenty of fish to target but the native coho quota on the Siletz did not fill as quickly as biologists thought.
The biggest surprise of the year has been a better than expected Fall chinook return. After several years of poor runs it’s really nice to see these fish coming back. Chinook fishing was fair during September and early October but since the last rain it’s been red hot both in tidewater and the lower river. Fly anglers have been doing really well fishing Comets and Clouser Minnows in orange/black and white/chartreuse combinations.
We’re excited for the last week of “Come prepared to catch whatever swims” before the sea-run cutthroat season closes Oct 31. We’ll continue to fish salmon through mid-November before switching over to hatchery Winter Steelhead. We still have a couple days available for November salmon and plenty of days for winter steelhead.
To book a late Fall or Winter trip, please call 503.515.3533 or email us.
Justin hooked up to a 40 lb. Chrome Chinook on a 4wt and 3x. We didn’t really stand a chance with this fish, but he fought it bravely for 20 minutes and survived 3 jumps. We won’t forget the one that got away.
One of the nicer sea-run Cutthroat landed this Fall, a beautiful Fall specimen.